Energy Demand Slowed Down Due to Cloud Computing

UK-based IT support company Flair4IT has completed a new piece of research on the energy usage in data centers. They found that, despite increased growth in demand for data centers, energy usage has dropped significantly. They believe this is due, in part, to cloud computing.

Just a decade ago, data centers were using more power than energy supplies could sustain. In fact, between 2005 and 2010, their energy usage soared by 24%. Today, however, with the world shifting to virtualization, improved data center management, and cloud computing, energy demand is finally being reduced.

Flair4IT, a UK based IT support agency, has completed a new study that has shown the decline in energy usage. According to their data, energy usage will continue to rise, but at a much slower rate. In fact, they predict that the rise between 2014 and 2020 will be just 4%. This despite the fact that demand for computing resources will continue to rise significantly.

Flair4IT specifically looked at the total electricity usage by data centers in the US. This included 50 large organizations, 21 midsized ones, and 29 small companies. By looking at these organizations, they were able to calculate total usage, including powering storage, servers, the full supportive IT infrastructure, and networking. They found that, in 2014, it stood at 70 billion kilowatt hours (kWh). This equates to 1.8% of the entire electricity consumption in the US.

Linking this to current trends, it is believed that data centers will continue to use electricity but at a slower rate. By 2020, the Flair4IT research showed that it should be 73 billion kWh. This means that, over the next four years, it will not really grow at all. A representative from Flair4IT said: “Data energy centers will always use energy in order to run. However, while the sector itself has continued to grow exponentially, their energy consumption has slowed down at a very fast rate. Interestingly, people and organizations continue to have an increased demand for the products and services offered by data centers, and this means that they have become a lot more efficient. This needs to be applauded, as we should all reduce our energy consumption if the planet is to continue to be sustainable.”

The report showed that the greatest growth in efficiency was in physical servers. Between 2000 and 2005, there was a yearly 15% increase in server shipments. This meant that the total amount of servers stored in data centers nearly doubled in amount. Between 2005 and 2010, the increase in annual shipments did drop by 5%, but that was linked clearly to the global recession. Today, growth is back at a steady 3%, and it is believed that this percentage will remain stable until 2020.

The reason why growth rate in server shipments is dropping is because they are becoming more efficient, have improved utilization due to virtualization, and because people now use cloud computing. Workloads in data centers that are known as ‘hyperscale’ are being more concentrated. Hyperscale centers have a size of at least 400,000 square feet.

It is believed that energy usage may decline further if people shift more work to hyperscale centers, and if they continue to focus on best practice.

The Flair4IT representative added:

I am really optimistic that energy usage will drop down even more rapidly than we have predicted. As more and more IT users are making the transition to public clouds, which are held in efficient buildings, and as they consolidate and use elastic scaling, each application will use less energy. And since people are also continuing to increase their usage of mobile devices, which are much more efficient than desktops, even more energy will be conserved.”

Why Should You Update Your Antivirus Program?

We live in a world where man and machine have virtually fused into one. We are still two independent entities, but can you imagine your life without a computer, laptop, smartphone, and tablet? Our computers essentially run our lives nowadays and it is vital that they do so properly and quickly. This is only really possible if you also have the best antivirus installed on your machine. However, just having it one your machine isn’t enough. You also have to make sure that update the program regularly, so you don’t get faced with problems in the future. After all, this program is what defends you from people with malicious intent, like the pirates of the high seas of the past few centuries.

Features

Each antivirus program is unique, which means that their update procedures are all different as well. Before you choose your software, you need to compare their policies and procedures in terms of updates as well. You need to make sure that you understand exactly why you need to do in order to keep your system up to date. This can be done in a variety of ways, including:

  • Automatic updates are common, which are done over the internet as soon as your computer connects.
  • Popup messages to say that you need to update your system, with a click through link. These are becoming less common, because it is all too easy to fake them, thereby actually infecting your machine.
  • Yearly updates, which are very rare. You will be prompted to update your system when your subscription is about to end. If you don’t update it, the system will be disabled.
  • Authorized website updates, which means going to the website of your software developer and downloading their latest version. Most antivirus programs have this option as well as the automatic update option.

How to Update an Antivirus Program

If, for some reason, you choose not to have an automatic update, it is important that you know how to do this. While each software developer will have a few different requirements, you usually have to follow the same or similar steps, being:

  1. Download the latest version of the program, saving it to your computer.
  2. Keep a copy of the installation file on an external drive (this is a handy tip, not a requirement).
  3. Log off the internet.
  4. Run the setup.
  5. Select manual update.
  6. Reconnect to the internet.
  7. Click update in your new software.
  8. Follow the installation wizard.

The above method of updating antivirus programs is quite archaic. However, some people prefer it because they prefer to have 100% control over everything that is on their computer. They will check and double check the installation file’s different elements, for instance, making sure nothing malicious is in there. Overall, however, simply having your automatic update switched on is more than enough and will ensure you always have full protection on your machine. Doing this also means that you will never miss anything.

What is Cloud Computing Software?

Many of you will have heard in recent years about ‘the cloud’ when it comes to talking about computers and data. The phrase found its way into consumer’s mouths via companies like Apple and Google who offer the ability to store data in a magical place for you to access when you want it. Despite understanding the terminology, few of us truly know what this newfangled solution is all about so to help you out a little here is some information for you about cloud computing software, how it can be useful and why you should be using it?

What it is?

Cloud software is basically a way of managing data centrally using a third party it was used a lot during the 90’s by internet providers to enable them to spread out traffic to reduce bandwidth usage but it has now come to the fore for consumers. The notion behind it is to minimize how much data you need to have stored on your phone or tablet or computing device. Take for example iCloud software, this enables you to access your music remotely without having to have those songs on your iPod, what the software cleverly does is accesses a large server or computer which features all of your songs, then streams them to your device. The same goes for business’ who need to store huge amounts of data, instead of buying more server space, they can simply store the data with a 3rd party and access it on demand.

Benefits?

From a personal consumer standpoint the benefits are that you no longer need gigabyte after gigabyte of data on your computer, phone or tablet as music, calendars, photos and a whole host of other services can be stored on the cloud. This means that you no longer need to pay big money for devices with mountains of data, saving you money and hassle. For business’ cloud software is a God send, especially for big business who hold a great deal of information and reports, no longer will they require boxes and boxes of paper or be required to purchase huge servers to store memory as they can simply pay for a service that will store it for them and obtain the information from the cloud as and when they need it.

Future?

The future of cloud computing is that it will continuously grow and be offered across more business’ more types of data and eventually almost all of our data will be using cloud software. Charles Phillips served as Oracle’s President from 2003-2010 recently launched his company’s cloud service offering via Amazon and put it succinctly when he said “Putting everything in an in-memory database is a constraining architecture and a bad decision… Amazon gives us a supercomputer in the sky.”

That is the future of cloud computing, less data usage with our supercomputer in the sky, we couldn’t have put it better.